Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation announced on Tuesday, January 8, that the Ontario government is helping 107 municipalities across the province expand or improve their public transit systems with Ontario’s gas tax program.

“We are investing in public transit to make it a more convenient travel option and to attract more riders,” Yurek stated in a media release.

“More public transit will cut through gridlock and get people moving.”

This year, the province is giving $364 million in gas tax funding to 107 municipalities that provide public transit service to 144 communities across Ontario.

These communities represent over 92 per cent of Ontario’s total population.

Chatham-Kent is set to receive $965,599 in funding through the program.

Provincial officials say funding for Ontario’s gas tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province.

The program provides municipalities with two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenues.

Municipalities receiving gas tax funding must use these funds towards their public transit capital and/or operating expenditures, at their own discretion, including upgrading transit infrastructure, increasing accessibility, purchasing transit vehicles, adding more routes and extending hours of service.

“Our government is working to make life better for the people of Ontario,” Yurke added.

“Through Ontario’s gas tax program, the City of Toronto will receive $184,994,655 in funding this year to improve transit projects such as the TTC. This investment will help improve the daily commute for many who use the TTC to get around Toronto every day.”

Provincial officials say the share that each municipality receives under Ontario’s gas tax program is based on a formula of 70 percent ridership and 30 percent population.

These funds serve both the needs of large and small municipal transit systems.

Municipalities that contribute financially to public transit services are eligible for funding.

Municipalities not currently providing transit can become eligible for funding if they start up fully-accessible transit services.